Apartheid in South Africa had already started in 1913, when the South African government passed the Natives Land Act. According to this law, black South Africans were prohibited from buying or renting land in 93% of South Africa. This law was one of the foundation stones of the later official apartheid policy.

When compared to the Palestinian Authority’s approach to selling land to Jews, the Natives Land Act seems almost tame.

At a recent meeting of the PA’s Supreme Fatwa Council, led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the PA reiterated that to sell land to Jews is not only a criminal offence but also forbidden according to Sharia law:

Palestine is kharaj land (i.e., land belonging to Muslims) and a waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) which, according to Sharia law, it is forbidden to sell its lands and its properties or facilitate its transfer to enemies. This is because in terms of Sharia law it is considered a public Islamic property and not private property.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 25, 2022]

After reiterating the Fatwa (i.e., religious ruling), the Head of the Supreme Muslim Council and head preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Ikrima Sabri added what exactly would happen to those who broke the law:

Sabri emphasized the Fatwa according to which one who sells or mediates [the sale of property to Jews] will not be buried, will not be purified and will not be prayed for, and that whoever interacts with them is a traitor.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 9, 2022]

As Palestinian Media Watch has already noted, according to a PA law amended in 2014 by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the punishment for selling land to Jews is life imprisonment with hard labor.

Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.

A waqf is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law. Palestinians define all of Israel as waqf, and thereby Israel exists on Islamic holy land. Palestinian leaders have explained that under Islamic law Muslims are commanded to free the waqf from non-Muslims.

IDF Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch is Director of Legal Strategies at Palestinian Media Watch.

This article was originally published by Palestinian Media Watch.

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